The 2023 summer holidays are well and truly upon us. And as the cost of living crisis continues, parents everywhere are looking for ways to stretch their budget further. So, how can we keep the kids entertained for six long weeks without it costing an arm and a leg?
With the current state of the rising costs, day-tripping is fast slipping out of the affordability range for parents. Due to the knock-on effect of soaring prices of food, energy, fuel and everything else, it seems that everywhere is having to raise their prices just to make ends meet. From trips to zoos and theme parks to dining out and even indoor play centres, entry fees have gone up. And that means you’ll have to fork out significantly more than you did a year ago to enjoy much the same experience.
So, we’ve come up with some budget-friendly ways the make the most of the six week-long summer holidays. Scroll on to get some inspiration for free and affordable activities you and your family can enjoy this Summer.
The top 5 ways to enjoy the summer holidays on a budget
There are a whole host of activities you can enjoy with the kids this summer with little to no expenditure. And so, without further ado, here are the to 5 ways to make the most of the summer holidays without breaking the bank.
1. Try your hand at gardening
Gardening is a great way to pass the time with next to no spending necessary. For a start, weeds are constantly popping up all over your garden! There’s really no end to them. In fact, you could weed every single day of the six weeks summer holidays and it’s extremely likely that you’d wake up fresh ones sprouting the very next day regardless.
And, if you turn it into a game, the kids will enjoy it all the more. Give each honorary gardener their own container for collecting weeds and see who can fill theirs up the fastest! Plus, weeding provides a unique opportunity to educate your little ones on the importance of ensuring they pull up the entire root wherever possible too.
Then there’s the task of deadheading. And what child doesn’t love the idea of pulling the flower head off stems. The key to this one working in your favour is explaining what to look for during the deadheading process. And then explain the whys behind this task. Once your children are aware that pulling off the old flowers will encourage new ones to grow, they’re likely to take their job more seriously. But perhaps keep the younger ones away from any roses in your garden. We don’t want the gardening expedition to end in tears and a reluctance to embrace the world of nature in future.
And another great way to share and develop a love of gardening in children is to monitor the different stages of a plant’s development. Start by sowing seed – these could be for edible produce or just some pretty flowers. And, you don’t have to go out and buy the most expensive seeds around either. Seeds can be collected from existing seed heads in your garden; from home produce such as peppers, apples or chillies; or from plants in your local area. With a small amount of research, you’ll have a green-fingered family unit in no time. And free flowers or produce to boot too.
Once the seeds have been sown, explain the importance of watering them daily and ensuring they get enough sunlight. And, within a couple of days or weeks (depending on the germination timeframe of your seeds) a seedling will appear. This is the reward for your child’s dedication and care towards the task at hand and usually results in glee!
From thereon, you can take them through the various growth stages and the different tasks necessary (potting on, feeding, continued watering etc). And you can get scientific if you like too with discussions surrounding photosynthesis, pollination and so on. Or you can describe the progress as the wonder of nature with a little helping hand from your child. And so, this activity is wonderful for all ages. And important for our planet too!
2. Have a picnic
Another great and affordable summer holiday family activity is a picnic. Nature is everywhere and whenever the weather permits, we should head outdoors and enjoy it. Plus, it’s totally free. Aside from the food of course… But, if you weren’t having a picnic, you’d still have to feed the family anyway!
So, pack up your snacks and set off on an adventure. There are some beautiful green spaces in the UK and exploring them is (mostly) free to do. The woods, a river, a reservoir, the hills, a local quarry, or even your local park are all idyllic spots to have a picnic. So, embrace your local area, ditch the car, and go for a walk instead. With the promise of a picnic to spur them on, the kids shouldn’t need too much convincing.
And remember to take in the nature around you as you explore. Discuss different things you see with the kids. Take in the different views and landscapes and breathe in the benefits of the fresh air around you. So many of the wonders of nature are taken for granted by so many of us every single day. So just take a pause to take it all in. And let your children lead the conversation, with a little gentle nudge here and there if they veer off topic!
3. Organise your home
The 2023 summer holiday provides a great opportunity to organise your space. And, with the children on hand to help, it shouldn’t take too long either! Remember, a clutter free space is the key to a clutter free mind. So, declutter!
Work through the wardrobes, the bedroom drawers and the bedside tables; address any storage issues and get organised. And that goes for the kids’ bedroom furniture too! If you embrace this task as a family-focussed activity, the kids are actually more likely to stick to the “this lives here and that lives over there” mantra too. For most of us, organisation is a skill that’s learned through repetition. And the same applies to children (1). So, if they help decide where things should live in their own bedrooms; there’s more chance that they will stick to the new system of organisation in future.
Organising your home gives you a great opportunity to invest in some new furniture to better assign places for each of your items. And if you’re looking for budget-friendly storage solutions; sign up to our newsletter and be the first to hear about upcoming sale events or; head to the Bensons dedicated clearance section. Here you’ll find everything you need including new bedframes and bedroom furniture for every space at prices that won’t break the bank.
4. Day trip to the beach
So far, we haven’t really witnessed the right weather for a day trip to the beach. But we’re hopeful the weather will take a turn for the better soon. So, if you’re not jetting off to some far off exotic location during the 2023 summer holidays; a trip to the beach could be just what the doctor ordered. And, other than fuel to travel to and from your preferred coastal spot; there really aren’t any spending obligations tied in.
Planning ahead can really help you cut down on costs when it comes to a trip to the beach. So, think about those essentials – drinks, snacks, sun cream, spare clothes, towels, sun hats etc – and pack accordingly. Generally, the more you take with you, the less you’ll have to spend.
And if your budget can stretch to an ice cream, your children will be delighted. But, you don’t have to go to the ice cream van and pay £3+ per person. You can if you like – the key takeaway from this is that you don’t have to. Why not pop into a local supermarket and pick up a pack of 4 ice creams for as little as £1.50. The kids aren’t usually too fussy about where the ice creams come from – an ice cream at the beach is an ice cream at the beach after all.
5. Fly a kite
Did you suddenly feel that nostalgic tug? Us too! And that’s why flying a kite is a great summer holiday activity that can cost next to nothing. Whether you have a kite already, plan on purchasing and inexpensive one, or are eager to get the kids to try their hand at making their own; this is definitely one way to make the most of your 2023 summer holidays.
Finding how to videos online will give you all the information you need to set the kids to their creative task. And there are plenty of affordable ready-made kites accessible online if you shop around. Or just dust off your existing kite.
Then, decide on the best flying spot. Hills are great as the wind tends to pick up more the higher you ascend. Another option is to take your kite along on your day trip to the beach. The coastline is a great place to find that idyllic kite flying breeze.
If you’re venturing out with kids, remember that taking snacks, drinks, and blankets to sit on is never a bad choice! And that’s all there is to it. Launch your kite, let the kids take turns holding onto the line and make some new memories while drifting in and out of the ones that stirred that nostalgia within earlier.